Violation of human rights in Saudi Arabia: NPWJ welcomes EP’s call to downgrade EU’s participation in the G20 summit

Brussels, 8 October 2020

On Thursday 8 October, during the plenary session of the European Parliament, MEPs voted with a large and transversal majority (413 MEPs in favor, 49 against) a resolution that strongly condemns the treatment that Saudi Arabia reserves for Ethiopian migrants, including pregnant women, children and babies. Migrants are illegally detained in overcrowded prisons and survive in subhuman conditions without adequate access to water and food. Several humanitarian organizations have reported deaths, including of children, suicide attempts and cases of torture perpetrated by Saudi security guards.
 
Furthermore, the European Parliament rightly points out how this bleak picture fits into a wider context of widespread and ferocious repression of dissent by the Saudi authorities, which includes the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018, whose responsibilities have not yet been adequately ascertained.

In addition to requesting the activation of the human rights sanctions mechanism against Saudi Arabia, NPWJ strongly welcomes that the text of the approved resolution urges the EU to downgrade its institutional and diplomatic representation at the next G20 summit to be held under Saudi presidency, so as not to legitimize the impunity of the serious violations of human rights and the continuous illegal and arbitrary detentions carried out in a systematic manner by the authorities of the country.

As pointed out by Hatice Cengiz, the fiancée of Jamal Khashoggi who has been fighting for two years, with NPWJ at her side, so that this assassination does not go unpunished, the absence of Western leaders at the G20 summit meetings is not only a logical decision but also due "to avoid giving further moral bail to the current Saudi administration whose responsibility in Jamal's murder is undeniable but which still manages to escape the consequences of this act". In other words, if the international community wants to be coherent with the principles and values ​​it claims to defend, it cannot continue to close its eyes to the true face of the Saudi regime.
 
For further information, contact Nicola Giovannini, Press & Public Affairs Coordinator, on ngiovannini@npwj.org org.